“Do you want to change the world?” Those were the exact words an Enactus society officer asked me during Freshers’ Fair back in my first year. Sure, count me in! I was on the lookout for societies to join, and they looked like they knew what they were doing (although they didn’t offer free doughnuts like some other societies).

Jokes aside, joining Enactus was one of the two best decisions I made at the University of Essex, with the other being going on a placement year. But what is Enactus anyway?

ENACTUS stands for...

ENtrepreneurial - having the perspective to see an opportunity and the talent to create value from that opportunity.
ACTion - the willingness to do something and the commitment to see it through even when the outcome is not guaranteed.
US - a group of people who see themselves connected in some important way; individuals that are part of a greater whole.

Enactus is an international non-profit that organises a social entrepreneurship project presentation competition for university students.  Students run their own businesses that solve social problems, and the UK branch is active on over 60 campuses, including at Essex!

Enactus Essex is open to all students, no matter their background, degree course, specialty, or anything else - they’re an incredibly diverse bunch of people, united by a mission to make a real difference in the world.

I spent a full year as the Head of Presentations, coaching and training a team of four to present our projects at the Regional and National Competition in front of a panel of judges, who were mostly executives from the sponsor companies.

Photo of student Asja Karanusic and four other Essex students who were part of her Enactus project team.

The photo here shows our presentation team, with me standing on the right, presenting our entrepreneurial project during the regional competition in 2019.

Our project “She Inspires”, based in Ghana, aimed to empower former sex-trafficked women by acquiring business education and opening their own shop. To perfect our presentation, we practiced for 15 hours each week and formed a partnership with Toastmasters International, a renowned public speaking school.

Through competing and making it to the top eight teams (out of 60 nationwide), we drew attention to the sex trafficking problem and raised much-needed funds. For a small team, this was a great success, and even more so for our three beneficiaries in Ghana, who are now independent business owners.

Being a part of Enactus Essex will give you the unique opportunity to develop leadership and professional skills through learning, practicing, and teaching the principles of social enterprise, thereby improving the living standard for project beneficiaries - you're also fifty-times more likely to be hired by one of their sponsor companies, which include top graduate employers like Ford, Citi, KPMG, and Unilever.

Enactus can help you to improve the world, gain business skills, and enhance your employability, while building friendships that will last for years.